Introduction: The Feast of the Epiphany is a wonderful time for the family to gather to ask God’s blessing on their home and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows, especially during these difficult and challenging times.
In this time of uncertainty and hardship when we are spending so much more time in our homes and seeing fewer family members, friends and loved ones let us keep faith and hope alive in our homes and our hearts. It is a timely reminder, as the Christmas season draws to a close and the New Year begins, to place our home under God’s watchful gaze. With the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we can entrust our family, loved ones, friends and neighbors into God’s loving protection as we bless our home.
(A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance. It can also be written somewhere inside the home.)
+20 C M B 21+
The letters C, M, B have two meanings:
• They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.
• They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus Mansionem Benedicat, “May Christ bless this house.”
The “+” signs represent the cross and 2021 is the year.
Here’s a suggested format for the blessing:
All make the Sign of the Cross.
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Leader: Peace be to this house and to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Reader: When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.
The Word of the Lord
ALL: Thanks be to God
Using chalk, write on the outside of your house or inside above the front main entrance, above or next to an entrance:
+20 Christus Mansionem Benedicat 21+ or +20 C M B 21+
These words mean. “May Christ bless this house” or you may use the names of the Magi
+20 Caspar Melchior Balthazar 18+ or +20 C M B 18+
All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who live here and all who visit. May we be blessed with health, kindness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Additional prayers for these challenging times of the pandemic:
May the peace of Christ be with all who enter this house. Watch over and protect our families and loved ones in these difficult times of the pandemic. Keep us free from sickness, danger and restore to health those have contacted the virus. May we be signs of your healing presence to one another as welcome you, Savior of us all, into hearts and homes.
May the love of Christ, bring hope to all whose lives have been compromised in any way by the pandemic, especially the unemployed, the homeless, the poor and those whose lives are in danger. Keep us safe from all that might harm us in any way and fill us with a deep and abiding trust in your loving presence.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.